Re: Unicode Bloopers

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Thu Apr 21 2005 - 06:05:25 CST

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    At 13:15 +0200 2005/04/21, Peter R. Mueller-Roemer wrote:
    >Hans Aberg wrote:
    >>For example, "sin" in plain or boldface would mean different
    >>things, as opposed to say the natural language English, where the
    >>semantics is the same word "sin".
    >Even the pronounciation changes: Trigonometry is not a sin-full
    >subject, because of all the sin-functions (read sine-).
    >peter MR

    It was not really meant as a comparison between math and natural
    English, but merely indicating methods of expressing semantics
    within those two separate languages. Each written language has its
    own set of rules used to express the semantics, and Unicode attempts
    to make sure that semantics can be efficiently expressed by supplying
    suitable abstract characters. One can though, take up your comments,
    and discuss: Should one, in Unicode, be able to distinguish between
    "sin" in math, and "sin" in natural English. In its extension, it
    leads to enabling all sorts of semantics, usually expressed via a
    computer languages. Unicode apparently has some of it, for example,
    various glyphs for decimal numbers in different scripts, though the
    mathematical semantics is the same (I hope :) ). An alternative
    method might have been to have just one set of decimal digits, and
    add abstract characters indicating type of script in use, as well as
    markers for the delimitation of such scripts segments. The way I see
    it, there is more than one way to go. A more structured approach will
    require more work, and is therefore suitable for some future, more
    linguistically correct, character set.

       Hans Aberg

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